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Cyclone Roanu hits coastal area of Orissa and Andhra Pradesh

The cyclonic storm ROANU that emerged in the west central Bay of Bengal was in news. It came into news after India Meteorological Department (IMD) in its prediction said that the Cyclone is likely to intensify into a severe cyclonic storm by 20 May 2016 night and will hit Andhra coast.
•    At present, ROANU is moving northeastwards and lay centred at south-southeast of Machilipatnam, about 290 km south-southwest of Visakhapatnam & 160 km south-southwest of Kakinada.
•    IMD issued an orange warning message to Andhra Pradesh and Odisha.
•    IMD issued yellow message for West Bengal as the system would turn into severe cyclonic storm.
•    Moving northeastwards, the system is likely to cross south Bangladesh coast between Khepupara and Cox’s Bazar on 22 May 2016.
•    It issued heavy to very heavy rainfall warning to coastal Andhra Pradesh, coastal Odisha and coastal Gangetic West Bengal under the influence of the cyclonic storm coupled with gusty winds speeds reaching 90-100 kmph.
•    Fishermen have been advised not to venture into sea as the condition along and off Andhra Pradesh, South Odisha and West Bengal coasts are very likely to be high to very high.
•    In Andhra Pradesh the district administrations have been asked to see that people staying in low-lying areas are shifted to safer places.

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India's first driverless train was flagged off by Union Minister

Union Urban Development Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday flagged off the trial run of a driverless Metro train here.
•    The trial run started at the Mukundpur depot of Delhi Metro and ended at Majalis Park station on the Majlis Park-Shiv Vihar corridor of phase 3.
•    The new train will undergo rigorous trials to ensure these are ready for smooth operations after the commissioning of the new corridors.
•    Initially, train operators will run them for around a year before completely switching to unmanned train operations,
•    Later, Naidu and Kejriwal stressed the need to improve public transport system to reduce air pollution in Delhi.
•    Naidu said the Delhi government's odd-even traffic scheme was a temporary measure to reduce air pollution.
•    The driverless train is manufactured at Changwon in South Korea. It arrived in India at the Mundra port in Gujarat and was brought by road to Delhi on specially-made trailers.

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Renewable energy country attractiveness index 2016 released: India Placed at 3rd Position

Global organization EY on 10 May 2016 released the Renewable energy country attractiveness index 2016. 
The report reveals 40 countries on the attractiveness of their renewable energy investment and deployment opportunities based on a number of indicators.
•    The emerging markets now represent half of the countries in the 40-strong index, including four African markets featuring in the top 30.
•    Index was topped by the United States (US) and was followed by China at 2nd position and India at 3rd position.
•    Countries like Chile at 4th position, Brazil at 6th position and Mexico at 7th position climbed higher in the index top 10.
•    While Germany and France fell in the ranking to 5th and 8th position respectively.
• Argentina was the highest-scoring new entrant in the index. The transformation of the country’s economy brought it into the index in 18th position.
•    The Renewable energy country attractiveness index (RECAI) ranks 40 markets on the attractiveness of their renewable energy investment and deployment opportunities.
•    The ranking is given based on a number of macro, energy market and technology-specific indicators.

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Union Cabinet approves for MoU between SEBI and FSRA Abu Dhabi

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 12 May 2016 gave its approval to Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA), Abu Dhabi.
•    The MoU is for mutual co-operation and technical assistance between the two financial regulators.
•    It will promote further development of economic links and cooperation between the two signatories
•    It will help to create conditions for development of securities markets in the two countries.
•    It would also contribute towards strengthening the information sharing framework between the two regulators.
Apart from Abu Dhabi, SEBI also signed bilateral agreements with a number of countries which include Mauritius, Bangladesh etc
SEBI is a signatory to global market regulators' grouping IOSCO's MoU which encourages the exchange of information and assistance

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Supreme Court upholds validity of Criminal Defamation Law

On 13 May 2016 The Supreme Court agreed with constitutional validity of penal laws on defamation. 
The two-judge bench of Justices Dipak Misra and Justice Prafulla C Pant said the right to life under Article 21 includes the right to reputation.
•    It said that the current criminal defamation law is constitutionally valid.
•    It held that criminalization of defamation to protect individual dignity of life and reputation is a reasonable restriction on the fundamental right of free speech and expression.
•    The court said that Sections 499 and 500 of the Indian Penal Code make defamation a criminal offence.
•    The bench said that the freedom of right to speech and expression does not confer any right to a person to trample the reputation of others.
•    It said that defaming a person amounts to offence against society and the government is entitled to lodge a case against a person under criminal defamation law.
•    The bench in its 268-page verdict dismissed apprehensions and said that criminal defamation may have a chilling effect on the freedom to circulate one’s independent view.
Besides, the petitioners who are facing criminal defamation trial were given eight weeks time to approach the High Court’s concerned under Article 226 and Section 482 of the Cr.

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Supreme Court asked Delhi Government not to register New Diesel Cars

On 10 May 2016 The Supreme Court asked the Delhi Government to not register the new diesel cars. 
•    It relaxed its April 30 order of imposing ban on diesel taxis in Delhi-NCR from 1 May 2016
•    It allowed the existing All India Tourist Permit (AITP) diesel taxis to operate in the national capital till the expiry of their permit.
•    The permits which are issued for a period of five years, however, will not be renewed after expiry.
•    It further underlined that diesel taxis will eventually have to go off the roads
•    It is likely to free up more than 60000 taxis, which had to go off roads since they had not switched to CNG.
•    The court-mandated stipulation regarding fare compliance with government norms may affect ‘surge pricing’ used by taxi aggregators, which the Delhi government had sought to stop during odd-even phase 2.

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Commemorative Coin of 100 rupees & Circulation Coin of 10 rupees on Maharana Pratap released

On 9 May 2016 The Union Government released a commemorative coin of hundred rupees and a circulation coin of ten rupees on Maharana Pratap. 
•    The coin was released as a part of 475th Birth Anniversary celebrations of Maharana Pratap.
•    The coin was released by Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Culture and Tourism Dr Mahesh Sharma in New Delhi.
•    Maharana Pratap was a brave warrior, successful organizer and ingenious strategist, who fearlessly fought the Mughals and protected his people until his death.
•    He was a ruler of Mewar, a region in north-western India in the present day state of Rajasthan.
•    His birth anniversary is celebrated every year on the 3rd day of the Jyestha Shukla phase.
•    He was the eldest son of Maharani Jaiwanta Bai and Udai Singh II, founder of Udaipur.
•    He belonged to the Sisodia clan of Rajputs.
•    Union Ministry of Culture has been celebrating the 475th Birth Anniversary of Maharana Pratap in association with the State Government of Rajasthan.

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Indian Navy decommissions fighter planes Sea Harriers

On 11 May 2016 Indian Navy on decommissioned its fleet of iconic Sea Harriers. 
They were replaced with new generation MIG-29 K fighters in a ceremony on INS Hansa near Vasco.
The function was presided over by the Chief of Naval Staff Admiral RK Dhowan.
•    The de-inducted fighter aircrafts, the Naval Air Squadron 300 - INAS 300, were popularly known as 'white tigers'.
•    Designed and manufactured by British Aerospace, Sea Harrier is a naval Short-Vertical Take-Off and Landing Jet Fighter, used for both reconnaissance and strike.
•    The aircraft, developed by the British in the 1960s, was used by the British during the Falklands War, both Gulf Wars, and during the NATO intervention in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
•    The retired aircraft will be put on display in museums.
•    The newly inducted MIG 29 Ks will be operational from INS Vikramaditya aircraft carrier.
•    Presently 45 MIG 29k are being introduced

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President Mukherjee presents gallantry awards to defence personnel

On 10th May 2016 President Pranab Mukherjee presented the Gallantry Awards and the Distinguished Service Decorations to defence personnel and martyrs posthumously at a ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan here.
•    Sepoy Jagdish was awarded Kirti Chakra posthumously. He made the supreme sacrifice during terror attack at Pathankot Air Base
•    Subedar Mahendra Singh was awarded Kirti Chakra. 
•    Jammu and Kashmir Police Head Constable Mohammed Shafi Sheikh and Constable Reyaz Ahmed Lone were awarded Shaurya Chakra.
•    Second in Command of CRPF 7th Batallion Hira Kumar Jha who was awarded Shaurya Chakra.
•    Commander Milind Mokashi who saved more than 16 hundred persons from war torn Yemen was also presented with Shaurya Chakra.
•    Sixteen personnel were awarded Param Vishisht Seva Medal and Twenty Four Personnel were awarded Ati Vishisht Seva Medal.

•    Vice-President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, and the three services Chiefs were present in the ceremony.

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Dial 112 for any Emergency throughout India from 1 January 2017

From 1 January 2017112, the single emergency number that will help people to reach immediate services of police, ambulance and fire department will be operational throughout India.
•    The service will also be accessible even through those SIMs and landlines whose outgoing call facility has been stopped or temporarily suspended.
•    A person in distress will need to call only 112, which will direct the call to concerned departments immediately for help.
•    Services were approved by Union Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.
•    9-1-1 is the emergency for the North American Numbering Plan (NANP), one of eightN11 codes. 
•    This number is intended for use in emergency circumstances only, and to use it for any other purpose (such as prank calls) can be a crime. 
•    In over 98 percent of locations in the United States and Canada, dialing "9-1-1" from any telephone will link the caller to an emergency dispatch center—called a Public-Safety Answering Point (PSAP), by the telecom industry—which can send emergency responders to the caller's location in an emergency. 

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